We’re shining the staff spotlight on Paula Bui, First Ascent’s Yoga Coordinator and AcroYoga extroadinaire. Read more about her journey into the world of yoga. Sign up for a yoga class at Avondale to meet her!

1. How did you get into yoga?

I was in high school when I took my first yoga class in Miami, FL and was looking for different ways to move my body. I had just started adopting a plant-based diet at the time and read somewhere most vegetarians practiced a mindful movement practice through yoga. Who knows how relevant that is now but I like to think we’re all trying to be more mindful of our consumption and impact on this planet.

2. What do you love about yoga?

I enjoy the feeling of being strong and flexible.

4. What is your favorite place to climb outdoors? What other outdoor activities do you participate in?

None yet! Honestly, I’m a little terrified of climbing outdoors. Hiking outside and being on my bike bring me joy!

5. Do you have any particular fitness or yoga goals for this year?

Yes, to get my foot behind my head.
But actually no.
I’m excited to be able to continue working my one arm handstand practice and get better at lifting humans up over my head.

6. What keeps you busy when you’re not doing yoga?

Thai bodywork and being a freelance interpreter. They’re my other two side hustles. Oh, and also traveling whenever I get the opportunity.

7. What do you love about Chicago?

Everything. Literally everything, both the good and the bad. I love winter and the other seasons too. I love that this is a city of Struggle and a city of Hope. I love that we can drive in any direction (minus towards the lake) and be in a different city within a couple of hours.

8. What is your favorite Chicago spot for food, music, art or culture?

The Chicago Cultural Center for all things music (free!) and culture. My favorite place for food is my kitchen.

Oh and you didn’t ask, but my favorite place to hang out is at a coffeeshop around the city.

9. What is something about you that most people don’t know?

I’m passionate about building community and organize an AcroYoga Festival every year in Chicago to do that and show some adults how to communicate, trust, and play again.

10. Anything else you want to say to the FA Community?

I’m grateful for you all. Seriously. I love that I can show up at a random time of day and connect with someone that’s come to my yoga class & chat or climb together.